Serie A preview: Marchisio, Juve plot Genoa downfall
Juventus' Claudio Marchisio looms as one of head coach Antonio Conte's main weapons ahead of the club's next Serie A fixture away to Genoa.
While Italy were lacklustre in their two World Cup qualifiers over the past week, Marchisio was one player who stood out, setting up a goal in each of his country's matches against Bulgaria and Malta.
The 26-year-old midfielder created Pablo Osvaldo's first goal in Italy's 2-2 draw with Bulgaria and then assisted Mattia Destro to score their side's fifth-minute opener in a 2-0 victory over Malta on Tuesday.
Marchisio has played in both of Juventus' first two matches of the new Serie A season and will be crucial in midfield alongside Andrea Pirlo and new-signing Kwadwo Asamoah when the reigning champions travel to Genoa on Sunday.
Conte should also have winger Mauricio Isla available for selection after the 24-year-old, who moved from Udinese with Asamoah during the European summer, started for Chile against Colombia on Tuesday after struggling with a knee injury since February.
Juventus lead Serie A after two rounds thanks to consecutive victories, while Napoli and Lazio also have 100 percent records so far and sit in second and third respectively on goal difference.
Napoli host Parma on Sunday and the visitors will have to be wary of the hosts' attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik, who has started the season in fine form.
Hamsik has hit two of Napoli's five goals so far this season, while the 25-year-old also created Slovakia's goal in their 1-1 draw with Lithuania last week.
Lazio head to Verona on Saturday to take on Chievo, while AC Milan will host Atalanta in the other early match of the round.
In a clash of two newly promoted sides on Sunday, fourth-placed Sampdoria can continue their fine start to the season when they take on Pescara, who sit 18th on the Serie A table.
In other Serie A action, Roma host Bologna, while Fiorentina will clash with Catania, Siena face Udinese and Torino take on Inter Milan.